My brick spotting foray today was to a stretch of coastline between Musselburgh and Prestonpans, in East Lothian. I know this coast well, having walked, cycled and kick scooting here on numerous occasions and knew it would be good for finding bricks as the area has a rich industrial past with a major colliery and associated brickworks located near by at Prestonegrange, now an industrial heritage museum.
My search started where the Levelhall links sea-wall ends and a more open coastline begins. Bricks are plentiful here and many are well-rounded by the action of sea and wave. The most common brickmark here are a number of variations on Prestongrange, not surprising really with a brickworks once existing less than 200 m from the shore. Finds included PRESTON GRANGE, P G and NCB P-GRANGE, many in various shades and colours.
Other common finds included EDINBURGH, DEWAR, ARNISTON, ETNA, NCB WALLYFORD, NEWBATTLE, WALLYFORD, DOUGAL WINCHBURGH and VOGRIE. Less common finds included a burnt example of a STARWORKS GLENBOIG which had me struggling to identify at first but filling the brickmark with loose dark sand helped reveal the lettering. A well-worn J & R HOWIE Ltd KILMARNOCK and a poor quality BANKPARK were also spotted.
Not all bricks are complete and often you will encounter a lone half-brick with much of the brickmark missing. In the intersting example above, the complete brickmark would possibly read, W HUNTER & Co PORTOBELLO.
Something I like to do is also look for unusual bricks, for example, those where the natural world has put the brick to good use. In the example below, barnacles have created homes for themselves in the brickmark of this PRESTONGRANGE. Tubeworms have similarly used this EDINBURGH for their desireable residence.
Not all bricks are easily identifted, the two bright-red half-bricks below are probably not of Scottish origin and a bit of detective work to be required to reveal their makers. One English brick was found, an LBC PHORPRES. LBC is the London Brick Company.
One final mystery brick was found and is shown above. It is very eroded and difficult to make out but may possibly be B & M or B & N. Further work required on this one.
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